How to Have a Summer of Sweat-Free Sex

Photo: Chad Springer/Corbis

We’re entering a period of sultry heat, minimal clothing, and long, hot nights; a period in which everyone is thinking the same two things: “Why is it so hot?” and “Why does everyone look so hot?”

But how are you supposed to move — let alone move in synchrony while touching another person — when even taking a tiny breath leaves you drenched in sweat? In theory summer sex is hot, but in reality summer sex is so uncomfortably hot. And sticky. And sweaty.

You could pledge summer celibacy (sad) or attempt to follow age-old lady-magazine advice like “get creative with ice” (it will never live up to that scene from Do the Right Thing) or “work frozen foods into your bedroom routine” (c’mon, take some pride in that high-thread-count bedding and leave ice cream out of it). But there are more practical ways to avoid heatstroke while getting it on during the dog days.


Requires: An empty gallon jug, a sink, no fear of frostbite. Take a gallon jug or liter bottle, fill it with water, freeze, it, wrap it in a towel, and place it in bed with you and your sex partner. We recommend placing it between you during foreplay, maybe by your feet during the deed, and back in between during snuggling. You’ll feel like you’re having sex on an iceberg. This is the only time it’s acceptable to suggest bringing a “baby” into the coital space. Celibacy modification: Attach your favorite celebrity face to it and use Ice Baby for a chilly snuggle, if you’ve pledged yourself to summer celibacy. Ice Baby can easily double as Ice Gosling or Ice Fine Felon.


Requires: A street-facing window, a window AC, an open mind. Crank up that window AC unit to max cooling, position yourself in front, and get to boning. Will the neighbors see? Yes. Yes, they will. You’ll thank the Cut for the excitement that comes with exhibitionism, and the kids on the stoop will thank you for the best 20 minutes of their summer. Advanced move: Use the AC as leverage for standing sex, but only if the unit was securely installed according to factory instructions or you live on the ground floor.


Requires: Lowered standards, possibly. Much like a Winter Boyfriend — whom you sort of like but mostly just tolerate to get you through the long, dark, cold times — the Summer Boyfriend comes with his own perks. Perhaps this seems counterintuitive, because summer is the time of 1,000 new boyfriends, so why would you want to tie yourself down with just one? Because of easy access to central air, that’s why. For three months(maybe four, who can predict the weather these days!), date a guy or girl who lives in one of those fancy high-rise apartments with “energy-efficient” central air and get after it to your libido’s desire. You deserve air in every part of the apartment while you’re boning, not just the spot directly in front of the window unit.


Requires: An industrial-strength standing fan, a 70 pints/day dehumidifier, outdoor voices. Using a dehumidifier and a strong fan can cool a room just as effectively as an AC. It helps with cutting down on your energy costs, but also creates so much noise that you can make all the loud sex moans, groans, slaps, or screams you want to without pissing off your roommate, neighbors, or innocent passersby. Celibacy modification: Use the combo to drown out aural reminders that your roommate or neighbor is having loud, sweat-free sex while you’re spending your summer snuggling Ice Gosling.


Requires: An overpriced movie ticket, a light jacket, the ability to view any situation through rose-tinted nostalgia. In moments of sheer desperation, resort to that surreptitious manual sex move perfected in high school. Will it be your proudest moment? No. But you’re already camping out in the movie theater for the free AC, so “shame” is relative. Might I suggest the latest installment in the Transformers series? Michael Bay explosions and horribly loud robot noises are effective for sound masking. The mind will not be stimulated, but someone’s genitals will be.


Requires: A copy of the Kama Sutra, flexibility. For the least effort, mutual masturbation with Ice Baby between you is the most restorative. But if you insist on touching, touch as little as possible, and in positions where one partner is not hogging all the cool air. Doggy style is probably the most equitable position, but if you’re a selfish lover, assume the “starfish” and let someone else do all the work. Pro: You’ll conserve energy, and probably your blowout. Con: You run the risk of being drenched in the juice of your partner’s summer sexertion.


Requires: An AC with a timer, a casual sex partner, foresight. If you’re a modern woman who owns your own AC unit and can pay the higher-than-usual electric bill that goes along with it, make this part of your pre-sex ritual: Prior to going out, set the timer for an hour before you intend to bring a caller back to your place. By the time you arrive, your apartment will be a perfectly temperature-controlled environment for comfortable, casual sex — 68 degrees is optimal. Alternately, try an iPhone-controllable “smart AC” that learns your habits and turns itself on and off accordingly— i.e., switching on Saturday night around 11 p.m. and turning off at 10 a.m. the next morning, so the apartment gets hot enough to discourage last night’s sex friend from sticking around for breakfast.

How to Have a Summer of Sweat-Free Sex